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  • What kind of bee is this?

    I've never seen this kind of bee here before. I've been watching bees here for 6 years in Seabrook and now that we are in our new house these critters show up out of no where! Is this the infamous southern blueberry bee? It's about twice as big as the honey bees and kinda darts around and hovers before landing on the flowers. Had 5 of them working my citrus today. They look similar to a bumble bee but not really if that makes any sence?!?
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  • #2
    It is reminiscent of a honey bee drone.. but I didn't know they visited flowers.
    What is the size of the citrus flower it's on? Or maybe I should ask how large was the bee?

    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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    • #3
      Rob,

      It is a leafcutter bee but can't tell which one from the picture. The giveaway is it looks like a hairy honeybee from the back. They cut leaves to line the nests but feed on nectar and pollen and use that to fill the nests for the young. Unlike honeybees and bumble bees that carry pollen on their legs the leafcutters carry in on the hairs on the underside of the abdomen so the abdomen most times looks yellow.
      Cutting sales on willsfigs.com started Nov 1 and will continue till about March 1.

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      • #4
        Nice to see you guys talking about bees here. I've really been enjoying them for the past couple seasons now. I started attracting Mason Bees just last season. I've also been seeing Hornfaced Bees and what I think is a small version of a leaf cutter.

        Rob, I also saw an unusual looking "Bumble Bee" in my yard last year. It was making nests in some of the larger tubes alongside the mason bees. Except it seemed to be using nectar to seal the tubes.

        It wasn't the typical bumble bee & it wasn't the common Carpenter Bee. It was more of an elongated looking, fuzzy bumble bee. Maybe a type of leaf cutter like you mentioned Will - ?

        Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures. Maybe this year.
        Zone 6b. West KY.
        My eBay username is fruitnut.
        Fig Well and Prosper!

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        • #5
          Leaf cutter bee - a better fit. I don't think we have those here.

          SoCal, zone 10.
          www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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          • #6
            Gina, my understanding is that solitary bees, including leafcutters, are fairly ubiquitous in North America. I haven't had the chance to visit CA in person, but I was able to find a few references to their presence online.
            Nate
            Ithaca, NY. Zone 6a.

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            • #7
              The only reason I know what they is is because sometimes they clip the BB leaves and when I saw them doing it I killed one and looked it up.....they really don't do much damage and there are so few of them I leave them be. ...or bee in this case. Yes I know that was bad.


              Bill,

              It could very well be what you saw as the leafcutters generally use a hollow created by another creature or a hollow that is natural. They don't seem too picky about where and the spots can vary widely, whatever strikes the females fancy I guess.
              Cutting sales on willsfigs.com started Nov 1 and will continue till about March 1.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by n8b8s View Post
                Gina, my understanding is that solitary bees, including leafcutters, are fairly ubiquitous in North America. I haven't had the chance to visit CA in person, but I was able to find a few references to their presence online.
                Hi, welcome to the board.

                I have no doubt that leaf cutter bees are in California.. but California is a large state with many diverse habitats. They could even be in my general area - I've just never seen or heard of one locally. They apparently can be good pollinators.

                http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05576.html
                SoCal, zone 10.
                www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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                • #9
                  It's possible its a leaf cutter although it wasn't cutting leafs at the moment. Last year during the summer months we have a metallic green leaf cutter bee population that emerges and for some reason they really liked Jewels leafs and also any grape leafs. Cool looking bee and was actually nesting in some PVC I used to support my bird netting. I will try and get a better pick this evening if I can.

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                  • #10
                    Sorry Gina, those are Kishu seedless manderin flowers. The bee pictured is easily twice the size of a big honey bee and stocky in appearance

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                    • #11
                      Rob,

                      The leafcutters feed on nectar and pollen so it will visit the flowers, that is what is uses to feed it's young and itself. Mine cut some BB leaves but mostly other plants...I don't think they are picky about what leaves they cut. You probably have 30? or so different species of leafcutter bees in Texas. Some are small and some are very large.....some live in tubes and some nest in the ground.
                      Cutting sales on willsfigs.com started Nov 1 and will continue till about March 1.

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